The real issue with chronic tinnitus isn’t simply that you have a ringing in your ears. It’s the constant non-stop ringing, that’s the real issue.
At first, this may be a mild noise that’s not much more than a little annoying. But after a day or a week or a month, that buzzing or ringing can become irritating, frustrating, even incapacitating.
That’s why it’s crucial to have some tips to fall back on, tips that make living with tinnitus easier. When you’re lying in bed, having difficulty falling asleep because you keep hearing buzzing from your left ear, having a plan is going to help you a lot.
How You Can Worsen Your Tinnitus
Chronic tinnitus, after all, is frequently not a static problem. There are increases and decreases in the presentation of symptoms. There are times when your tinnitus is minor and virtually lost in the background. In other moments, that ringing could be as difficult to dismiss as a full-blown, personalized symphony.
That can leave you in a rather frightening place of anxiety. You may be so concerned about your tinnitus flaring up while you’re in a meeting that you get a panic attack while driving to work. And the very panic attack brought on by this worry can itself cause the tinnitus.
Tips For Living With Tinnitus
The more you know about tinnitus, the better you can plan for and control the effects. And management is the key since tinnitus doesn’t have a known cure. With the proper treatment, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus has to negatively impact your quality of life.
Consider Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Many treatment options for tinnitus include some kind of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The sound of rain on a rooftop is a common analogy: very noticeable at the beginning of a storm, but you stop paying attention to it after a while and that rain-on-rooftops sound goes into the background. TRT uses the same principle to teach your brain to move the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time tuning it out.
Mastering this strategy can take a bit of practice.
Get Your Brain Distracted
One of the reasons that tinnitus can be so frustrating is because your brain is constantly looking for the source of that sound, attempting to alert you to its presence. So giving your brain a variety of different sounds to focus on can be very helpful. Try these:
- Do some drawing or painting while listening to music.
- Enjoy a book while taking a bubble bath.
- Take a book to the park and listen to the birds while you read.
You get the idea: Your tinnitus may be able to be decreased by engaging your brain.
Meditation, as an alternate path, helps you concentrate your attention on a mantra, or your breathing which helps take your focus away from your tinnitus. Some individuals have discovered that meditation reduces their blood pressure, which can also be helpful with tinnitus.
Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid
Several hearing aid companies have manufactured hearing aids that help reduce the ringing in your ear. Hearing aids are a great solution because you put them in and can forget about them the whole day, you don’t need to carry around a white noise generator or constantly listen to an app. You can relax and let a discreet hearing aid take care of the ringing for you.
Make a Plan (And Stick to it)
Having a plan for unexpected spikes can help you handle your stress-out response, and that can help you minimize certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from worsening them). Pack a bag of useful items to take with you. Anything that will help you be more prepared and keep you from panicking, like making a list of practical exercises, will go a long way toward management.
Management is Key
There is no cure for tinnitus which is often chronic. But management and treatment of tinnitus is a very real possibility. These everyday tips (and more like them) can help make certain you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.